Mark 4:11

Jon R. Venema Grammata at
Wed Jan 27 14:50:02 EST 1999

At 06:46 PM 1/27/99 +0000, you wrote:
>Perhaps the hardest verses in Mark, but how should MUSTHRION be translated
>at 4:11?  'Secret' seems almost an under-translation, and 'mystery' an
>over-translation.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
>Julian Waterfield

>I'm gonna catch it for this one- but I would suggest "rites".  "To you are
>given the "rites" of the Kingdom..."  I.e., you are the ones who can
>initiate others into the rule of God.


Both within the immediate context of Mark 4:11-12 (hYMIN vs. TOIS EXW)
and the wider context of Mark (messianic secret, identity of Jesus), I
float the suggestion that Jesus himself is the content of the "mystery" and
thus the "key" to the Kingdom and the parables.  This suggestion, if
does not answer the question of the translation of MUSTHRION, although 
it may give cause for pause as possibilities other than  "mystery" or
are entertained.

Jon R. Venema
Western Seminary

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